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Press Release - Nunnery

For immediate release: 29th January 2020

Alderney develops its historic jewel as a visitor attraction

The Nunnery, arguably the most important historic building in the Channel Islands, is undergoing improvements to enhance its reputation as a vibrant visitor attraction.

Now known as The Nunnery Heritage Site, the only remaining small Roman fort in Western Europe also has rich Napoleonic, Victorian and WWII additions.

Groundwork has begun to create a unique visitor experience with information displays, education rooms and exhibits that will turn The Nunnery into a jewel in Alderney's portfolio of rich cultural and historic sites.

The States of Alderney has pulled together a team involving Alderney Tourism, States Works, the Alderney Society, States of Guernsey Heritage and archaeologist Dr Jason Monaghan to develop the site's potential as the Channel Island's premier historic site.

"To be able to stand on the fort wall exactly where a Roman soldier once stood to look out to sea across Longis bay is amazing," said Helene Turner, speaking on behalf of Visit Alderney. "The Nunnery has the potential to be one of the island's main visitor attractions and this project will ensure its long-term conservation."

The site was opened to the public in 2019 but has been closed since early January while clearance of the courtyard takes place and an electricity supply is installed to allow two of the WWII bunkers to be used as interpretation and display rooms.

Overgrown vegetation has been removed to further reveal buildings from different eras, especially the 1790 Gunpowder Magazine and the WWII personnel bunker. A previously hidden escape hatch at the personnel bunker has already been discovered. The overall management and maintenance of the site will be the responsibility of the team in States Works.

Landscaping, information boards, lighting and fencing will follow before an expected reopening by Easter. The Nunnery will continue to host the Alderney Bird Observatory Hostel ensuring that the site continues in its role as an important site for visitors with wildlife and heritage interests. The site also provides private residential accommodation.

The Nunnery has caught the imagination of broadcaster and historian Dan Snow who has made several visits to Alderney and describes it as "a site of enormous importance", while

Edmund Southwork, Director of Manx National Heritage, said: "It has huge unexploited potential as a visitor attraction and needs to be looked after and shouted about."

Ends

Image attached: Artist's impression by Doug Hamon of how the Roman fort at Longis would have looked

Further information: Visit Alderney - Tourism@alderney.gov.gg